Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Even in the worst of times, someone always gets elected.

Your Question of the Day

If you had a senator, from Virginia....who was pushing to have the national speed limit set to 55 mph....which was totally related to the "gas price crisis" at hand, then you would think the following statement.

Lowering demand will lower prices, but increasing supplies will have no effect on prices?

Hmmmm. Thats the amusing thing about the senator's logic and the question of the day. The senator is working for someone's favor....the question really is....whose?

The Rest of the Lowell Barron Story

Last week....we read eagerly of Lowell Barron episode, where he readily blamed Hell's Angles in Bama of chasing him down near Andalusia. So thee court case came up and we got some things to fill in the rest of this case. It becomes an interesting piece.

State Senator Lowell Barron.....was driving down near the Florida border.....over on the Bama side of the line. He came up to pass a motorcyclist. The biker didn't fall back.....instead....he sped up. Barron started to look at this. He braked several times....to get the guy off his butt....but the guy wouldn't fall back. So he sped on up. So begins his problems.

Rather than stop, with some nut on a bike playing bumper-trouble.....he just sped on....believing things would better when he got to Andalusia. Well...there were three to four cops to stop him there.....and the bike ended up yelling that he'd personally write the speeding ticket if they didn't.

So here is where we began to learn things about this small community. The biker? Well....he WAS (note: was) a deputy in this small town....but left a few months ago to be the local DJ on some local radio channel. The guy still claims some kind of status....but the chief of the department and the HR folks there.....don't really agree....saying he was gone by December of last year.

As for the speeding ticket? Well....the chief of the Andalusia police kinda hints that it will stand. They will enforce the speed no matter what......to include some dude who plays bumper-to-bumper in hopes of doping you into speeding.

So to Lowell...I will offer up some ice tea and say that you were kinda treated like crap by these folks.....especially for a cop who really isn't a cop.

The trouble in Bama....is that folks hire up their cousin Larry to be some deputy in town.....then learn that Larry really isn't qualified for deputy duty. Then they learn that Larry isn't happy making $1500 a month.....and aggressively writes tickets.....for another $1000 to $1500 a month.....make up for his lack of pay.

At some point, Larry gives out so many tickets...that he really irks the guys who would buy gas in town or shop at Piggly Wiggly....then the mayor calls Larry up and says that he is causing problems. Larry can't afford to back off his new income level. So over the next four months....Larry begins to have folks questioning things in court. At some point....Larry starts looking for work at a bigger town....which he quickly finds the right place and moves on.

Larry starts out ok, but eventually goes back to the ticket game.....to make an extra $10k a year. He has no choice. He will move ten to fifteen times over thirty years. How much training did Larry ever get? None....thats the cool thing about Bama.....you can be law enforcement with the most minimum amount of education....maybe a couple of classes at the community college level, and a class or two down at state-level.....and thats enough.

Occassionally, these Larry-characters will divert over to some other job.....lumber salesmen, guard for a state park, guard for a national park, and maybe even a DJ for some radio station. After two or three years....they have to get back into law enforcement.....to protect folks.....and bonus up on fines or pick up bribes.

Alabama has a serious problem.....and most everyone in the state agrees. The cop situation just isn't working. The corruption and banana-republic attitude of these guys.....doesn't help the state in attracting real business or keeping folks around in various communities. Would I want to live in Andalusia? After hearing this entire episode....no.

How would I fix this? Simply put every law enforcement position under state control. You hire via a state mechanism. The ticket game? Let it continue....but limit the yearly maximum a guy can make to $4k (or $12 per ticket). Require actual education....at least one entire year of community college for a rookie, and an actual associates degree for a guy who wants to stay after five years (even offer to pay the tuition). Any sign of trouble or reports of corruption....bring the guy in for a review....and if necessary....fire him in a manner so he doesn't do police work ever again.

Lowell Barron is likely going to be very upset for several years over this kind of juvenile game that Bama cops play. I'm guessing Lowell might be willing to actually force them into cleaning up their mess....just maybe.

The Anthrax Dude

I have allowed several days to pass over the recent events surrounding the anthrax dude, and his suicide. So here is my analysis.

The facts are absolute on the sample used in the "attacks", in that it came from his lab. There is utterly no disagreement about this. Although, it could have been an assistant of the guy.

But then we start coming to the problems. The doctor who he was seeing over his mental issues (and alcohol)....had been arrested at least five times from what I could count....on battery and DUIs....going back almost ten years. After looking at this.....I would have some problems in believing anything she says....which one thing involves the threats that he made....which might not be totally true.

Then there is the issue of the letters and the post box they were mailed from....almost 3.5 hours from his house. You can't prove anything on him transporting the letters up to be mailed.

Then we come to the curious episode of "why". Here....I can see the logic. This guy wanted "credit"....big credit.....for saving people or developing the anthrax vaccine. I don't money was ever on his mind....it was the credit....the words of the award or medal.

So here is the problem....if the FBI wants us to seriously believe this. IT was an internal job.

So, this means that the $5 billion-odd dollars that we spent....was because of a guy in the US-run anthrax lab....and not a threat honest-to-God threat from Syria, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Panama, Mexico, France, Bolivia, or even India....triggered the event.

All the GI's who took the shots? Totally wasted.....the threat was our own guy. The various programs that the government put tens of millions, hundreds of millions into? Wasted.

So at some point....some idiot ought to ask the Senate and Congress, if they still need to fund these programs. Or maybe put the money into bridges that cross rivers in the middle of Arkansas or Utah or Florida. Just a thought.